Friday, August 26, 2016

An Envelope Worthy of Jeremiah & Mud Slinging

I get to imagine what Erin's finished pieces might look like if I were allowed to color them. An olive green came to mind with this one, and the word amphora, although it does not have handles. But, if I were in the ancient days when clay was all there was, there'd be no color at all, unless I were married to a wealthy merchant. Keep in mind these are my imaginings. But do note the strong wrists. Oh, my. What I wouldn't give . . .

I'd have filled in this crossword puzzle before it ever wound up as a mat for mud-made objet d'art. Then I wouldn't mind. White for the big mouth? Yes, white. A lovely stark white meant to make peonies pop; perhaps tulips? What do you see? 

Last night she sent a video of a potter making a donut. The wheel is hypnotic. All that spinning flung inner gray energy to the far-and-away place where light comes from and dissipates anything opposite. 

I've never worked a potter's wheel but nothing prevented me from improvising. And, still being in an Olympics state of mind made this little drawing that much more fun. Note the green on the olive oil jar? I get to have so much fun! 

I wasn't sold on the highlighted text until now. Not the parts about Jeremiah; I meant the name and address. The parts excerpted from the book of Jeremiah seemed appropriate; worth reflecting on:  This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:  Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you a message. So I went down to the potter's house . . .

. . . and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

"Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hands . . ."

This is my coolest envelope to date. I, too, am made of clay. I've been flung, slung, repurposed, trimmed, reshaped, fired, retired, salvaged . . . Polished, too. Broken. Repaired. And last night . . . Well, this morning I picked up this envelope; I never remember what I've drawn the night before, so sometimes mail goes missing if I put it away before the next day. But this morning the envelope was one of the first things I saw. I saw the Maisons & PARIS sticker and I felt like I'd been punched in my solar plexus. Something's been bothering me since last week. It's something Erin said.

Erin has vacationed in Paris twice. The second time she went she slipped on wet paving stones and fell. No one came to her rescue. It broke my heart. I have disliked the French ever since. I forgot that I'd included the Frenchman I'd dated, along with all the other innocent citizens who never witnessed my child fall. See? I've confessed to being prejudiced before. Now do you believe me? 

So, every time our only talked about moving to France to study baking and French pastry, I pulled out my racist memories and rattled off a handful of reasons why she shouldn't go until after her dad and I had passed on. Number one was always, "I don't speak French, so I cannot go over there and kick ass if something happened to you." I completely forgot how kind they were to my great uncle when he fought in France; so did my grandfather. I forgot that my great uncle married a Frenchwoman, brought her to the States . . . I'm smh at myself. Worse still? Erin told me she doesn't think anyone saw her fall. See? I don't remember that in the initial conversation. I could excuse myself by claiming my misunderstanding was all due to her having told me about the incident when she called from France on a French phone. He-he. (wouch!) See? I'm clay being molded, reformed, not yet ready to be fired . . . Thank you Jeremiah. 

I apologize to all the French citizens. And I promise not to do that again. 


  1. Beautiful. I called my mother from a green Japanese wall phone in the Tokyo subway station to tell her I was lost and could she please help. I just could not get out of there. Eventually I did, though. What a maze of underground passageways!

  2. Cynthia, thanks for making me feel even better. I'm glad you were capable of finding your way out on your own. There's a lesson in that too.

  3. More wonderful envelopes to admire! :)

    1. Thank you very much. :)

      Hope y'all don't get more incoming. Rain! No more incoming rain.